Hello guys,
 A few people have contacted me asking which CPD courses I am doing and why. I did Infant Education -Literacy Across the Curriculum in Infants with Hibernia College. ( They offer a significant discount for past pupils and they have a wide variety of courses to choose from). I did the Maths Strategies Course with Hibernia last year and I found it helped me tremendously on teaching practice so therefore I chose to go with Hibernia again this summer. I chose the Infant Education course for two reasons. Firstly, I love teaching infants and I wanted more ideas. Secondly, many teachers say that infants are one of the toughest classes to teach, and so I thought the course would be of great benefit to me.

I have finally completed my on-line CPD course as of last night. It took me long enough! There is a lot to learn if you are going to be teaching infants, and I found this course a great refresher to remind me of the infant education we studied in college. The course is made up of five lessons, forum contributions and a reflective learning log at the end. Best of all,  it has loads of really useful links in the additional reading section.

Lesson one comprises of a discussion on the literacy curriculum, and how to create a an environment for language learning. If you are lucky enough to have an infant class come September, then you’ll get lots of lovely ideas for creating a literacy environment.

Lesson two comprises of how to teach oral language, talk and discussion, and effective questioning. There is a lot of content in this presentation, so much to try remember! What I like most about this course is that it is all so practical, and it is perfect for those of us who are just starting our teaching careers, or for teachers who are new to infants.

Lesson three contains instruction on explicit teaching, effective teaching of reading, and useful reading strategies. I found this most useful of all, as I liked the way it lays out exactly HOW to teach children to read. There is so much to do, it is a tremendous  responsibility. It explains how to teach onset and rime, phoneme awareness, phonic encoding skills and so on. . It also gives a brilliant overview and explanation of comprehension strategies.

Lesson Four contains instruction on penmanship, and developmental writing. Again, it is very technical, but that’s what is involved in teaching infants.

Lesson Five contains information on assessment, assessing literacy,and assessment tools. It is also very practical, usable and relevant to the infant classroom.

The person who formed this course is an infant teacher herself, so she is speaking from classroom experience , rather than a book! I love all the ideas she gives, such as feely bag, a writing corner, loads of oral language ideas, classifications, barrier games and so on. I have loads and loads of ideas recorded, should I ever get an infant class. The games and ideas will be useful for subbing too though so I will certainly be using them.

The forums are very beneficial. You must make a contribution after each lesson. I loved reading the contributions from other more experienced infant teachers who really knew their stuff!

I usually rate courses on their usability in the classroom. Usability wise, I would give it a five out of five. It gives technical help, explaining phonemes and phonics, and it gives practical ideas too such as literacy games, topics for oral language discussions etc.

So that’s why I chose this course. I’ll tell you about my other course if I ever finish it!

Here’s a link to the Hibernia home page if you want to investigate their courses further. 

http://hiberniacollege.com/program/summer-courses-for-teachers/

Thanks for reading!
Valerie

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